I recently encountered the word draftsman in a law review article. That prompted me to give some thought to use of the word.
It’s certainly commonplace—a search of the TP-ALL database on Westlaw (“All Law Reviews, Texts & Bar Journals”) retrieved some 5,000 articles written in the last three years that use it.
I prefer to avoid gender-specific language. And not out of raging political correctness, but just because much gender-specific language seems old-fashioned now. I think that’s the case with draftsman. Just as anchorman has given way to anchor, the switch from draftsman to drafter should be painless. And it’s well under way—when I searched on Westlaw for articles written in the last three years that use drafter, Westlaw stopped counting at 10,000. (The clumsy draftsperson isn’t a serious choice. It appears in only 19 articles written in the past three years.)